In my case, the Church is the Catholic Church, which I have been estranged from since my teenage years. There are a great many good Catholics that I know, doing great acts of charity and service, such as paying off medical debt. And when I read pieces like this one, I think: yes, Catholicism can be a force for good.
But then there are the many terrible actions by the church and those within it that remind me of why my estrangement still exists. Like how Catholics who promised residential school survivors $25M instead spent $300M on a new church. or the political actions of Bishops in the United States. Or finally, laicized cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
McCarrick is being charged with a fraction of the things he got away with for a very long time. Things everyone knew about. And just so you know, McCarrick is not the end of it. If you can bare it, here’s more about it.
Finally here’s an editorial in a Catholic Church publication talking about just how messed up the church is.
That’s all I have to say for now.
(Image: Damon Winter/The New York Times)
I thought this was fascinating: New Science Suggests Biblical City Of Sodom Was Smote By An Exploding Meteor.
There is an archaeological dig happening that seems to say that a meteor hit the region at some point and destroyed the place people were inhabiting. You can see how this could have been taken for divine retribution, just like the Great Flood was. Then this great event is incorporated into folklore and early religion.
Now how good is this new science? If you read the wikipedia page for Sodom, you can see at the bottom in the section Historicity that shows the claims made and how debatable they are. So maybe this isn’t the actual site and it’s possible Sodom was not wiped out by a meteor. Still, it is fascinating to think about.
(General Photo by John Ballem on Unsplash of a site hit by a meteor.)
You may not ever want to write your own psalm, but if you do, here’s advice on how to do it.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to a psalm of lament, though. There are 5 kind of psalms: praise, wisdom, royal, thanksgiving, lament, according to this. Feel free to write the one you see fit.
P.S. I got interested in this after finding out Churchill wrote his speeches in psalm style. You can read more about that, here. Or see an example of it below.
The book of Job is one of my two favourite parts of the Bible (the other being Ecclesiastes). If you also have a keen interest in it, there is a new book out on it and The Atlantic has the goods on it, here: The Book of Job in a New Light.
The new book casts Job in a different light than other interpretations. It’s not a terrible interpretation, and worth thinking upon. After all, that is what the Book of Job is about.
For more on the strangeness that is the Book of Job, see this article.
A fascinating exhibit in Washington, DC on the Slave Bible. What is the Slave Bible? It was a heavily reacted book with anything removed that could have supported slaves seeking their freedom. It’s a sad but also interesting story, and more of the details are here: Slave Bible From The 1800s Omitted Key Passages That Could Incite Rebellion : NPR.
Over at the well named Jewcy.com is a good response to the recent lineup of books criticizing religion. See:
What the Angry Atheists Get Wrong | Jewcy.com
If you have this Buddha on your mantle or your bookshelf that you think is special, why not share it with the rest of the world? Just snap a photo of it and hop on over to the buddha project.
As they say:
Images of Buddha can remind us to take a breath, to look around, to
feel calm and compassionate, to be here now. You can notice Buddha almost
anywhere — laundromats, store windows, barbershops, farmers’ markets,
souvenir stands, tucked away on someone’s night table.
It makes me hope this is success for alot of reasons.
….perhaps this is his way of saying: shutup, already?